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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Saint Laurent Gets a New CEO

©Hedi Slimane

Francesca Bellettini has been named the new CEO of Yves Saint Laurent. She will take over the top spot at the fashion house on September 1, replacing Paul Deneve, who has taken a position in the high tech industry.

Bellettini is currently an executive director at Bottega Veneta. Both Bottega Veneta and Yves Saint Laurent are owned by Kering, formerly known as PPR, which announced the appointment Tuesday. The French holding company specializes in owning brands in the luxury, sports and lifestyle segments of the apparel and accessories market. Yves Saint Laurent designs apparel and accessories that range from read-to-wear clothing to jewelry. While the brand is best-known to the public as Yves Saint Laurent, Kering had officially changed the brand name in 2012 to Saint Laurent.

“Her experience within the group and in the industry, her expertise and her determination persuaded me of her ability to implement Saint Laurent day-to-day strategy,” said François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Kering.

Bellettini, an Italian national, joined Bottega Veneta in November 2008 as worldwide merchandising director. She was promoted to worldwide merchandising-communications director in November 2010 and has been responsible for implementing strategic direction for the company, while overseeing all aspects of merchandising, visual display and communication.

She previously was the strategic planning director and associate worldwide merchandising director of Gucci. Prior to Gucci, she was operations manager of Helmut Lang, having previously worked at the Prada Group in 2002 as part of the planning & new business development division. After graduating from Bocconi University in Milan, Bellettini started her career in London as an investment banker, working at Goldman Sachs International, Deutsche Morgan Grenfell, and Compass Partners International.

In addition to the appointment of Bellettini, Yves Saint Laurent creative director, Hedi Slimane, will have added responsibilities that include supervising all strategic projects in a plan to transform and reposition the brand.

“Hedi Slimane has a clear creative vision for Saint Laurent,” Pinault said. “He has successfully rejuvenated and repositioned the brand in line with Yves Saint Laurent’s original message in 1966. This reform project was essential to ensure that Saint Laurent is in step with the times, and to secure its success. Today, the brand is one of the world’s most prominent fashion houses and my ambition is that Saint Laurent is able to realize its considerable long term potential for growth.”

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